1999 Subaru Forester S from North America


Not a reliable car


- Head gasket at 105K

- Water pump 105K

- No transmission fluids (complete leakage, no visible signs of leakage)

- Rear Brakes (2nd) 105K

- Timing belt (required) 105K

- Power Steering (no power) 95K

- Loose safety belts

Estimated $3900 repair costs.

- Front Brakes (2nd)

- Clock stopped at 60 K, CD no displays

- 4 times check engine lights (each at least $300)

- Oxygen sensors (twice)

- Transmission problems (in warranty)

General Comments:

This Subaru poses continuous maintenance issues, even after regular oil changes and major services at dealer locations. It has exotic problems like smelling gas in the car (rich burn), incredible noise when you start that reduces when you shift to a gear (apparently related to timing belt.) After the initial 4 years, it is slowly marching to death.

The electrical systems showed first signs to go. Switches for cruise, fog light, mirror heater were the first to go. Then the clock stopped, followed by half visible CD display. Then it was carpet, and rust showing in the car interior and under the hood.

In last 5 years, total maintenance costs exceed $10000. Now it needs another $3900 to run. Of course that would be waste of money. No doubt costs are crazy in the North-East. The dealer charged me $125 for telling me that car need a $3900 repair.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th June, 2008

31st Mar 2016, 21:00

Are you serious???? You're complaining about replacing parts after 105k?

1st Apr 2016, 15:45

I had to vacuum my car out. It should have never needed it because I bought it new!

1999 Subaru Forester S 2.5 ? from North America


By far the best bang for the buck


O2 sensor at 120k.

Original clutch.

Burns oil like crazy, but passes inspections.

Nothing else replaced.

General Comments:

Excellent for the $$. Bought used for 12k in 2002 off eBay. Ultimate in traction and safety for 1999. It goes anywhere my Tundra will. Great beach car with the kids.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th April, 2008

1999 Subaru Forester L 2.5 litre from North America


Buyer Beware


I've owned my Subaru for a month and have driven it for about a week. The place I bought it, had to replace the drivers head gasket and the passengers side due to my breaking a spark plug off on the right side. The passengers side was covered under warranty. I was told the cam seals and timing belt were also replaced before purchase.

General Comments:

I don't find it to be that comfortable a car, but its OK. It does have a lot of road noise. I knew of the common problems with this model: road noise, head gaskets, timing belt and seals, heat shield and clock problems, and bearing problems, too. I only bought it because these were fixed prior to my purchasing it, and the place I bought the car is owned and operated by a few Subaru mechanics. If anyone is going to purchase a Forester, hopefully they will look into these common issues and make sure they are fixed before they consider buying one. It seems like a decent vehicle once these issues are addressed. One plus; it does handle great in the snow. I wouldn't purchase another Subaru unless it was from where I bought it, because of their experience with Subaru and the help they provide to their customers. I think these problems that are common on this model should have been addressed by Subaru and redesigned maybe the newer Forester's have.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 22nd March, 2008

26th Mar 2008, 08:27

Update: I've got my Forester back now. The check engine light is on, and both cylinders 1 and 3 are misfiring; probably a bad wire or plug, but back to the shop.

My wife's Cavalier will eat this car up in reliability and has so far. This will be my last Subaru; back to Honda or Toyota.

1999 Subaru Forester S 2.5 SOHC from North America


Great handling SUV handle better than some cars


Leaking spark plug tube seals/valve cover seals...replaced spark plugs and wires, valve cover gasket, and tubes for the spark plugs. Glove compartment lock can' be unlock after I locked it, had to break it an replaced the latch.

General Comments:

Greatest handling car I ever had, but not too good on gas though. Overall great car and will buy another one I mean a newer model.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd February, 2008